Congratulations, Captain: you’re the boss of your vessel. Keep it in ship-shape working order by committing to a few boat maintenance actions on a regular basis, and you’ll likely avoid costly repairs caused by neglect.
Enjoy having that boat always at the ready for the next adventure? Here’s how to ensure it stays that way. Boat maintenance tips include (but are not limited to):
Check your hose.
It stands to reason that a hose with a solid feel to it is more structurally sound than a hose that feels mushy or has visible cracks on the surface. Squeeze that hose. Does it feel secure? If not, replace it. Otherwise, the water needed to cool the engine may never get to its destination – and if that happens mid-voyage, you and your passengers may not, either.
What’s keeping that battery secure?
If a strap hold-on is all that keeps your battery stable, replace the strap with lug nuts or threaded rods. This isn’t exactly a regular maintenance item, but fixing this issue just once can make a huge difference.
On that note, what’s the status of that engine?
Is it protected from outside elements? Here’s an easy way to find out: look for any light escaping from the hatch. To do so, get inside that hatch – that’s right, all the way inside if you can. If any light is indeed visible, you’ll need new gaskets and perhaps even a new latch.
How’s the gel coat holding up?
Take a quick go-see. You’re searching for nicks and scratches that can be easily filled with an epoxy. Have that on hand and any touch-ups will be quick and painless on your end.
What’s the status of the propeller?
This boat maintenance tip is a major one. Inspect that propeller for any signs of damage. If you see any warping or scratching, be honest with yourself: do you have the confidence level necessary to make the repairs? It is possible to fix a slightly warped propeller as a layman, but if you do not feel comfortable doing so, send it out to an expert to have it reconditioned.
Are drips or salt stains visible?
Don’t blow a gasket if yours show evidence of corrosion. If so, discover the source of the leak and seal it as necessary. It’s easy to identify gaskets that need a little extra care, and nearly as simple to deal with them.
Following the above tips should help keep your vessel in good running condition. Remember also that the number one preventative measure you can take for your craft is to carry a good marine insurance policy. Discover more by contacting your Wallace Welch & Willingham marine insurance advisor.